The Best-Kept Teaching Secret: How Written Conversations Engage Kids, Activate Learning, and Grow Fluent Writers, K–12
Publication Year: 2013
Your fast-track to student engagement Everywhere Smokey Daniels goes—every school he visits, every workshop he leads, every keynote he gives—there's one teaching strategy that teachers embrace above all others. That single method for transforming students from passive spectators into active learners … for evoking curiosity, inspiring critical thinking, and building powerful writers along the way. Now, with Elaine Daniels as Smokey's coauthor, that best-kept teaching secret is revealed to teachers at large: Written Conversations. Just what make Written Conversations so potent? An ongoing, thoughtful correspondence between students, and between students and their teachers, Written Conversations, above all else, catch and ride the wave of social interaction, which in turn makes school matter to kids. It's that simple. Structure by structure, from beginning to end, Smokey ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The best-kept teaching secret: how written conversations engage kids, activate learning, and grow fluent writers, K-12 / Harvey “Smokey” Daniels, Elaine Daniels.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4522-6863-7 (pbk.)
1. English language—Composition and exercises—Study and teaching (Elementary) 2. Letter writing—Study and teaching (Elementary) 3. Communication in education. 4. Active learning. I. Daniels, Elaine. II. Title.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
13 14 15 16 17 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Publisher: Lisa Luedeke
Development Editor: Julie Nemer
Editorial Assistant: Francesca Dutra Africano
Production Editor: Melanie Birdsall
Copy Editor: Melinda Masson
Typesetter: C&M Digitals (P) Ltd.
Proofreader: Wendy Jo Dymond
Indexer: Sheila Bodell
Cover Designer: Rose Storey
With special thanks to
Michele Timble, Burley Elementary School, Chicago, IL
Debbie King, Burley Elementary School, Chicago, IL
Sara Ahmed, The Bishop's School, La Jolla, CA
Kristin Ziemke, Burley Elementary School, Chicago, IL
Brad Buhrow, Columbine Elementary School, Boulder, CO
Michelle Nash, Burley Elementary School, Chicago, IL
Nancy Steineke, Andrew High School, Tinley Park, IL
Sheridan High School, Sheridan, AR
Federal Hocking Local Schools, Stewart, OH
Disney II Magnet School, Chicago, IL
After 38 years of marriage and countless years of teaching, we have finally written our first book together. Why did we wait so long, given that Smokey has written 18 books in the interim? Well, we wanted to be sure the relationship would survive the perils of co-authorship. Raising kids and building a family seemed like minor dangers compared to the marital risks entailed in writing a book with a spouse. But now, the manuscript is complete, and no legal papers have been served, so we guess it worked. We should have started sooner!
Without a jumbo posse of co-conspirators, this book would not have been possible. We have been working on this, our fondest project, for more than 20 years. During that time, we developed this book's strategies in our own classrooms, where, between us, we have now taught every grade from kindergarten through college, at least as guests, if not employees.
And during all that time we've also been collaborating with a big, loose network of teacher-pioneers all around the county. We've been connected by our belief that written conversation is the single most neglected tool in our teaching repertoires—and that developing many examples and sharing them with colleagues is an entirely delicious pursuit. So above all, we thank all the teachers who tried our ideas with their kids, invited us into their classrooms, told us their teaching stories, and gave us many samples of kids' work that are the core of the book.
It has been a joy to get to work with the energetic and talented Corwin crew, as they launch a brand-new line of professional books on literacy. The moment that our longtime colleague and friend Lisa Luedeke was hired to build this unique list, we voted “in.” Then, when marketing maven Maura Sullivan signed on, we knew the book would find its audience. And now that we have gotten to know Editorial Director Lisa Shaw and CEO Mike Soules, we know we are joining a team with a vision for the future of teaching firmly in mind.
Thanks to everyone who makes our work such a pleasure.Santa Fe, New Mexico[Page x]
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